The Chairperson of Uganda Women Parliamentary Association Betty Amongi, while presiding over at the open day for Children at Parliament’s CHOGM square said that the laws enacted by Parliament alone cannot be efficiently implemented without people’s support.
She noted that other actions which involve the general public are necessary if the laws are to be implemented by the implementing agencies.
Amongi further asked the elected leaders to be at the fore front of the fight against abuse of children saying that the community respects them as their leaders.
MP Patrick Nsanja said that Uganda should not engage in funny practices that violet the basic rights of the girl child pointing out the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) practiced particularly in areas of the far eastern Uganda like in Kapchorwa and Sebei land.
He noted that such practices are naïve and backward that lead to the violation of the rights of children in the country and that as we commemorate the day of the African Child, there is a lot to be looked at in terms of activism of the fundamental human rights and condemning violating cultural practices.
Nsanja called upon the community and government to come on board and enable massive sensitization of communities that practice Female Genital Mutilation.
Kigulu south MP Milton Muwuma said that there is need to address issues affecting children because they are the future of the country.
Mengo Minister in charge of Women and Community Services Kasule Christine Mugerwa said that they try within their mandate to fight harmful practices perpetuated against children by challenging and modifying cultural practices that abuse children’s rights.
She however pointed out that some of these harmful practices are not automatically cultural practices but they are sometimes used as distortions of culture and indicate moral degeneration.
The Secretary General for National Council for Children Martin Kiiza said that the council is currently working on a survey to certify the number of children on the streets of Kampala in order to find a way of advocating and pattern with government institutions to get the children out of the streets.
He said that when children on the streets are not looked after and brought up well it in the end affects the economy of the country.
He discouraged people from offering money to the street kids since this act encourages them to continue staying on the streets.
The day of the African Child has been celebrated since 1991 when it was first initiated by the Organization of African Unity now The African Union to honour the memory of the South African children who were killed by security forces when they took to the streets of Soweto in protest of the inferior education and demand for their right to be taught in their language.
The protest took over two weeks in which more than a hundred children were killed and more than thousands injured.